Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just Asking: You Play-a da Game You Win-a da Prize…Flagrant Pfleger Showboats the Consecration.

                      Feast of St. Justin Martyr.* 
                                Kathleen Parker Figured it Out.
              How do ya like that? 
              Columnist Kathleen Parker, these days every liberal’s choice “conservative” analyst (after David Brooks, that is) whose column is nationally syndicated by theWashington Post Company…whose column appears in the Tribune, natch… won the Pulitzer prize for distinguished commentary I’ll have you know for “her perceptive, often witty, columns on an array of political and moral issues.”  
              After 23 years of contributing generally conservative commentary with only so-so recognition, Parker gained national news attention and Democratic plaudits in 2008 by calling on Sarah Palin to relinquish her vice presidential nomination.  That and a few other caustic changes of heart about conservatives got her the Pulitzer.  She got national attention for recommending Palin quit the race but…  
        Not Joe Biden the resume plagiarist, not the Joe Biden who told a rapt evidently believing Katie Couric that FDR steadied the nation’s nerves following the `29 crash by addressing Americans on television…but Sarah Palin for blowing interviews with elite TV anchors, CBS’s  Couric and ABC’s Charlie Gibson…ridicule which won Parker the coveted prize for “distinguished commentary” in journalism, dished out by Columbia University.  
             The other day on MSNBC’s Coffee Joe, Parker acknowledged that bashing conservatives is the way she got hers. At least she knows how to play the game: there’s no future for someone just sticking to conservative analysis to win—but if you can entice liberals by screwing the conservative vice presidential nominee …that’s the way to go. 
              Joe Scarborough would agree because he has excoriated conservatives for playing the social issues too high which got his numbers up. . Pro-life is a distraction from the real issues of the day he wrote in his 2008 book The Last Best Hope.”   
              Also winning a Pulitzer was free-lance cartoonist Mark Fiore the darling of liberals ever since he drew a series “Learn to Speak Tea Bag” which snidely ridicules conservative grassroots.  Way to go, Mark! You know the drill!  
            And of course The National Enquirer was not even considered although it uncovered the sex scandal involving former Dem presidential candidate John Edwards…and chased Edwards from a Beverly Hills Hilton rendezvous with his mistress and their illegitimate child conceived by them while his wife was fighting cancer… with Edwards cowering in a hotel washroom and calling the desk on his cell-phone begging for Security to escort him out of the building.  
             Still on the air and heir to Walter Cronkite’s establishmentarian pomposity: CBS’s Bob Schieffer who should have been canned summarily for journalistic misfeasance after the Edwards eruption since he had publicly dismissed it as beneath his (Schieffer’s) reputed journalistic dignity to discuss.
                     Flagrant Pfleger Showboats the Consecration. 
             Which answer do you pick?  
             If you look it up on YouTube you’ll find Fr. Michael Pfleger’s rambling, politicized consecration of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ delivered during Holy Thursday Mass at Saint Sabina’s. Plus one where the awardee of the Chicago archdiocese’s racial-social justice accolade supports ordination of women to the priesthoodwhich he knows was not included in the sacrament instituted by Christ Our Lord and should not be changed as if it were a political invention thought up by men. 
              It is not known how many non-Catholic attendees at the Masses receive the Eucharist from Pfleger but it’s thought that of the hundreds of blacks who teem into Saint Sabina’s relatively few are Catholics. Yet…and I was there once…seemingly the whole congregation troops up to receive the Eucharist.   
       To receive the Eucharist without sacrilege, one must (a) be a practicing Catholic; (b) be in the state of sanctifying grace (meaning not in mortal sin) but if in mortal sin must have confessed the sin and received absolution before even considering the idea of reception of the Eucharist; (c) cognizant and receptive to the idea of transubstantiation, the changing of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ; (d) have fasted at least one hour before reception of the Eucharist (medicine and water is acceptable).  
            It may be that all the communicants at Pfleger’s Saint Sabina’s qualify…but--. The responsibility for allowing known non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist would be Pfleger’s if he knows for certain that there are people receiving the Sacrament who are not Catholic and hence unqualified…which would be a serious sin: sacrilege.  
           There are two explanations on why the archdiocese allows this parody to continue.  One is that it is terrified and notoriously weak and irresolute, unable to bring itself to exert discipline…piteously impotent, fearful and supine while determined to exert supposed muscle against any critic in the authenticist wing of the Church.  
              The second is that the chancery is gimlet-eyed, recognizing with a penetrating worldly stare that Pfleger is a flagrant political power player in the Chicago Squid, with the closest and most intimate ties to Obama and is able to deliver massive financial goodies.  
             I pick both answers: they are non-contradictory. But there should be continuous acts of public reparation for the indignities meted out to the Body and Blood of Christ at Masses which may be valid or may not be (I am not a theologian)…but which proceeds undisturbed because of fear, trembling and  expectation.  
       *: St. Justin, Martyr [circa AD 165]. The first Catholic apologist following the era of the Apostles…and also first   to lay down his life during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.  Born a Samaritan, he studied under the Stoics but grew disinterested since they could not tell him about God…and poured through classic Greek literature: Plato, Aristotle etc. As he traveled around wearing the cloak of the philosopher, he engaged in discourses which many came to hear.   
         One day when he was strolling by the sea, he met an old man who told him of a new religion that embraced love, strong identification with sanctity. It was Catholicism and Justin studied the Christians who at that time were laying down their lives in persecution.  At the age of 30 he embraced Catholicism at Ephesus.  At this time since there were very few apologists, few really understood Catholicism: Justin set out to rectify that. Still wearing the mien of philosopher, he debated and discussed religion and philosophy with pagans, heretic and Jews. .   
         He removed to Rome where he spoke and wrote voluminously. All we really know about his life is from his writings. When he became too pesky and successful in his debates, he was apprehended.  A jurist demanded he offer worship to the gods and Justin refused. Therefore he was beheaded along with six other Catholics, five men and one woman.  Two examples of his writings survive: two Apologies and a Dialogue with Trypho (a defense of Christianity in Q and A form with Tyrpho, a Jew). A transcript of his trial is extant including this colloquy between him and a Roman prefect Rusticus. 
         Rusticus: You then are a Christian? Justin: Yes, I am a Christian. Rusticus: Listen, you who are said to be eloquent and who believes that he has told the truth. If I have you beaten and beheaded, do you think that you will then go up to heaven?  Justin: I don’t think it; I know it. I have no doubt about it whatsoever.  Rusticus: If you don’t do as I tell you, you will be tortured without mercy. Justin: We ask nothing better than to suffer for the sake of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  If we do this, we can stand confidently before the fearful judgment seat of Our Lord and Savior when in accordance with divine ordering, all this world shall pass away.    


  1. If Pfleger didn't give communion to African Americans who aren't Catholic or in a state of grace, he wouldn't be practicing racial justice, right? I'm sure the Archdiocese Office of Racial Justice will make sure everything is O.K., and protect Pfleger's flock from all of us racist Catholics in the rest of the Diocese. Racial Justice, Social Justice, c'mon Tom, we all know these 2 are the favored teachings of the church in Chicago. The rest is so out of date.

  2. Actually, there could be a third reason for the Archdiocese's rolling over for that priest: